Transforming Lives, Transforming Community Since 1978
Kitsap Mental Health Services has long been a leader in the field of community mental health and substance use disorders. Created by the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners, KMHS was established as a not-for-profit, state designated community mental health center in 1978. Each decade since then has brought an expansion of services to meet growing community needs, resulting in a full range of crisis, inpatient, outpatient, and residential behavioral health services. This year, KMHS is serving over 6,500 children, families and adults throughout our county!
Much of our work to provide care to persons living in Kitsap takes place through strong partnerships with a wide array of community providers. You can find our staff working closely, sometimes even side by side located in the same office with medical and substance use providers. We partner with social service and housing providers, schools, law enforcement, jail services and the courts, all with the same goal of providing care and necessary supports for a person’s best possible recovery.
Beginning originally with child and family outpatient services, adult outpatient services were soon added, and by the 1990’s, youth and adult 24/7 inpatient evaluation and treatment units were built on the Almira Drive Bremerton KMHS campus. Also in the 1990’s KMHS was the first to create housing specifically addressing the needs of persons with chronic, serious mental illnesses, receiving local and state funding to purchase twelve houses throughout the county that continue today to house 38 adults. Partnerships with the Bremerton Housing Authority and with Housing Kitsap have facilitated the expansion of housing services. During 2019, with our partner Bremerton Housing Authority, we are currently developing a 72 unit permanent supported housing complex with the goal to open doors Fall 2021!
KMHS has served as a statewide model for implementing several mental health programs and strives to deliver excellence in care using state of the science evidence-based practices. In the last decade in partnership with Peninsula Community Health Services we offer medical and dental care on our Bremerton main campus. We also provide CHI Franciscan medical care on campus and in return, offer KMHS behavioral health care at CHI primary care locations in the community.
During 2018, together with safety net service providers and funded through local and state dollars, the Kitsap County Crisis Triage Center opened adjacent to KMHS’ main campus in Bremerton, for persons in need of 24/7 care to address immediate crisis but who do not need the level of treatment provided at an inpatient psychiatric unit. The Crisis Triage Center was developed and opened its doors the same day as did KMHS’ 30 day substance use residential treatment facility, Pacific Hope and Recovery Center.
One of the largest non-profit employers in Kitsap County, KMHS employs more than 500 individuals who staff dozens of programs serving all age groups. Our well trained and highly committed staff believe in emphasizing the strength of each client choosing our services to best support each person in their recovery.
Thanks to our community, we are honored that in 2019, KMHS was voted best counseling service in South Kitsap, Central Kitsap and Bremerton by Sound Publishing’s 2019 Best of Kitsap Readers’ Choice Awards! And in October 2019, the Bremerton Chamber of Commerce has named KMHS as the area’s “Non-Profit Business of the Year”!
The onset of major mental illness may occur as early as 7 to 11 years old.